The Third Marshals
Something Wicked This Way Comes
Here in St. Louis, there’s been a steady flood of people coming East. They line up, faces gaunt and clothes ragged. All of them are waiting for the boat to take them across the Mississippi, back to more civilized territories. The lucky ones come by horseback or stagecoach, but the rest just come on foot. No fine chest of drawers, no extra supplies, nothing but the clothes on their back and stories. Boy do they have stories.
There’s talk of something stirring out West. Something old; something that just woke up. Dreams of darkness and fire drive away any chance of sleep. Then the people on the outskirts of town might’ve disappeared, or a great beast made of fire and spite starts trampling the grazing pasture, or maybe all the kids up and vanish. Those’re the lucky ones though: some places were just empty as the caravans moved through. Beds still made, lanterns burned dry, and food left rotted in the pantry. I don’t even want to know what happened to those people.
Now a humble barkeep like me can’t do much, I can just serve another drink and listen, but I’ve heard tales of something fighting back. Some call ‘em angels and some say they’re demons themselves, but they all agree that these Third Marshals might just be able to do something about this craziness. I mean, that’s what I’ve heard at least.